Quick question, not sure if it’s possible - is there a way to get an RSS feed of new topics from here?
(I should state that I am running phpBB2 on my personal forum, and I’d rather code graphics in ZIL than figure out how to get anything working with version 2, so if this is not possible or feasible, I understand completely. Seriously completely.)
That being said, I’d read it every day, so it would absolutely be appreciated.
RSS feeds are among the many web technologies I’ve never dabbled in. It’s possible somebody has already written something – some sort of add-on – to do this in PHPBB3, although I’d need to investigate. Presumably it wouldn’t be hard to add my own (either in PHP, or in Perl accessing the same forum database), but again, I’d need to find out more to make it happen.
I think when it was suggested before, it was as a means of having it integrated with Planet-IF. My fear there was that much of the day-to-day posts wouldn’t constitute “news” or “announcements” and would just clutter Planet-IF. In the past, I’ve worked on a news portal gateway type site that would interface directly to the PHPBB3 database, and use private/hidden forums as a source of the main news items (i.e., PHPBB3 handles all the posting, user validation, groups, etc, but with a custom front-end to use as a portal). The same kind of thing could work for an RSS news feed, I suppose – feed just the “news and announcements” admin board.
But now, I realize you can get RSS feeds in a variety of ways. I think my PSP has an option for subscribing to RSS feeds. And doesn’t Outlook now? So I can see the benefit to setting up the entire forum on an RSS feed. But again, it’s something I would need to investigate. It sounds like there’s some interest in this, so I will check into it when I get a chance. But no promises it’ll be today.
I have a good-sized vacation coming up around Christmas. If I don’t get to it before then, it’d give me a nice project to work on while I’m off work.
Thanks, Merk. Admittedly the Planet IF thing is not such a hot idea, especially now when the forum has gained more momentum, but it would be cool to have for personal use. I remember seeing RSS plugins for phpBB before so there should be ready to use solutions available.
Well, I’ve looked over some basic information, and it seems pretty easy. Fortunately, I’m already very familiar with XML, and with producing XML content via server-side programming. On the surface, this is something I could create myself, in just a short while.
But this basic information seems to lack answers to some questions I have. I’ll probably need to do some more research. For instance, Basic RSS information doesn’t appear to include a time/date tag for the reader to know when the item was published. Maybe there are advanced tags not shown in the tutorial I’ve seen. Wouldn’t the reader need that to know what was “new” since last time? Or is the feed supposed to include all items, growing indefinitely? Should it instead include X number of prior days’ items, or X number of the most recent items? Should it contain each post’s text individually, or the contents of a complete thread as one item, or just the title and a link?
Creating the RSS feed should be simple. Knowing exactly what should go into it seems a little more up in the air…
You know what, I ran into some of the same questions when I started to write the RSS feed for the forum on Caltrops.com. I think what we ultimately decided to do was deliver the last twenty posts in descending chronological order. People can decide how many they want to view on their clients - for instance, I can pick from one to ten items on the google.com/ig thing I use for feed. Let me see if I can find the PHP code we used…
[code]$sql = <<<EOD
FROM posts p, threads t, forums f
WHERE p.tid = t.tid
AND t.fid = f.fid
AND f.fid not in (‘493’, ‘83’)
AND p.title NOT LIKE ‘%NSFW%’
ORDER BY p.post_time DESC
It’s a custom implementation, not phpBB, but the general idea is there. There’s more code to handle what parts of the post get brought back. And then the entire thing sits at www.caltrops.com/rss.php.
Actually, let me know if you’d like the file we ended up running with, Mike, I’d be happy to send it over. And Merry Christmas!
Usually a feed contains X most recent items. It’s the feed reader’s job to decide which items are unread, based on pubDates, titles, content etc.
I’d prefer individual posts with the post’s content in the feed and the link tag pointing to the complete thread. That way you could follow new posts from the feed and if you want to see the whole thread you could get it with the link.
Unless you have made major changes to the phpBB code I’m still suggesting you use a ready-made solution: for example outshine.com/blog/2007/03/phpbb-rss-mods.php compares three mods that add RSS functionality. Sounds a lot easier than building the feed from scratch.